👓 ‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak | Washington Post

Read ‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak (Washington Post)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Born eight weeks ago, Leon is too young to get his first measles shot, putting him at risk for the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.

📑 What I learned at work this year | Bill Gates

Annotated What I learned at work this year by Bill Gates (gatesnotes.com)
Unfortunately, there were more cases [of polio] in 2018 than in 2017 (29 versus 22).  

The numbers and rosy picture here aren’t quite as nice as other—more detailed—reporting in the Economist recently would lead us to believe.

In some sense I do appreciate the sophistication of Bill Gates’ science communication here though as I suspect that far more Westerners are his audience and a much larger proportion of them are uninformed anti-vaxxers who might latch onto the idea of vaccine-derived polio cases as further evidence for their worldview of not vaccinating their own children and thereby increasing heath risk in the United States.

Graph of Polio cases by year since 2000 as reported by The Economist

👓 Progress on eradicating polio has stalled – Infectious disease | The Economist

Read Progress on eradicating polio has stalled (The Economist)
Cases caused by viruses derived from the vaccine are a growing worry

👓 Flu Vaccines and the Math of Herd Immunity | Quanta Magazine

Read Flu Vaccines and the Math of Herd Immunity by Patrick Honner (Quanta Magazine)
Simple math shows how widespread vaccination can disrupt the exponential spread of disease and prevent epidemics.

This is a very clear and lucid article with some very basic math that shows the value of vaccines. I highly recommend it to everyone.

No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong. | Houston Press

Before you crouch behind your Shield of Opinion you need to ask yourself two questions: 1. Is this actually an opinion? 2. If it is an opinion how informed is it and why do I hold it?

This has to be the best article of the entire year: “No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong.”

It also not coincidentally is the root of the vast majority of the problems the world is currently facing. There are so many great quotes here, I can’t pick a favorite, so I’ll highlight the same one Kimb Quark did that brought my attention to it:

“There’s nothing wrong with an opinion on those things. The problem comes from people whose opinions are actually misconceptions. If you think vaccines cause autism you are expressing something factually wrong, not an opinion. The fact that you may still believe that vaccines cause autism does not move your misconception into the realm of valid opinion. Nor does the fact that many other share this opinion give it any more validity.”

Jef Rouner
in No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong | Houston Press

 

Pictured: A bunch of people who were murdered regardless of someone's opinion on the subject
Pictured: A bunch of people who were murdered regardless of someone’s opinion on the subject